Joshua 6:22, 23: The Salvation of Rahab and Her House, Part 1

Verse 22:[1] But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, (Josh. 2:14; Heb. 11:31) as ye sware unto her.

[He said] I translate it, he had said, when he gave the other instructions, verse 17. For it is not believable that Joshua declared these things with the slaughter already proceeding (Masius).

The harlot’s house, together with the wall upon which it leaned, was left standing, either by a special favour of God to her, or for the reason alleged upon Joshua 6:5.

 

Verse 23:[2] And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, (Josh. 2:13) and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred (Heb. families[3]), and left them without the camp of Israel.

[Youths, הַנְּעָרִים] Thus the Hebraism calls whatever ministers/servants (Munster, Kimchi in Masius, Drusius). It is said of Joseph in his thirtieth year;[4] of Rehoboam in his forty-first year;[5] of Joshua in his fifty-fifth year[6] (Masius).

[Kindred, מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶיהָ] Relatives, or families. Whence it is gathered that here kinsmen were many, who had fled to this despised little woman, as soon as she showed the hope of salvation: while, on the other hand, not even the two sons-in-law of Lot followed their father-in-law, a man of the greatest authority, forewarning of truth things, Genesis 19:14, neither did Abraham’s father follow him across the river.[7] This is a type of our Joshua, that is, Christ, to whom, when Rahab, that is, the Church, had submitted herself, the nations then fled in masses for the sake of salvation (Masius).

[Outside the camps] Which were holy on account of the Ark and the Divine presence (Malvenda, Bonfrerius). While they are purified from the ancient rites and contagion of their Gentile state (Menochius), and are solemnly received into the people of God, as in Numbers 31:19 (Malvenda, similarly Masius). Thus Religion’s dignity is preserved, and the shame of superstition is shown, since such are kept out of the camps (Masius). Although women were not circumcised, it is certain that they were wont to be, as it were, dedicated to God by other ceremonies (Masius). Rahab had not yet forsworn Gentilism and professed Judaism (Bonfrerius). But you will say that that multitude was not kept from the camps, Exodus 12:38. Responses: 1. After the construction and consecration of the Ark, God willed that He be esteemed as present in a peculiar manner in the camps. 2. There is no doubt that those resigned themselves to God, and were initiated through circumcision at mount Sinai (Masius). They made them to remain outside of the camp, that is, until they might be joined to the people, Rahab and the women by baptism, the men of her house by circumcision (Grotius).

Without the camp of Israel: Till they were cleansed from the impurities of their Gentile state, and instructed in the Jewish religion, and solemnly admitted into that church in the usual way, to which Rahab’s good counsel and example had doubtless very much prepared them; and this stupendous work of God confirmed their purposes.

[1] Hebrew: וְלִשְׁנַ֙יִם הָאֲנָשִׁ֜ים הַֽמְרַגְּלִ֤ים אֶת־הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ אָמַ֣ר יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ בֹּ֖אוּ בֵּית־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה הַזּוֹנָ֑ה וְהוֹצִ֙יאוּ מִשָּׁ֤ם אֶת־הָֽאִשָּׁה֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָ֔הּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּעְתֶּ֖ם לָֽהּ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיָּבֹ֜אוּ הַנְּעָרִ֣ים הַֽמְרַגְּלִ֗ים וַיֹּצִ֡יאוּ אֶת־רָ֠חָב וְאֶת־אָבִ֙יהָ וְאֶת־אִמָּ֤הּ וְאֶת־אַחֶ֙יהָ֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָ֔הּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶ֖יהָ הוֹצִ֑יאוּ וַיַּ֙נִּיח֔וּם מִח֖וּץ לְמַחֲנֵ֥ה יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[3] Hebrew: מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶיהָ.

[4] Genesis 41:12:  “And there was there with us a young man (נַעַר), an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.”  Compare with verse 46.

[5] 2 Chronicles 13:7:  “And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young (נַעַר) and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.”.  Compare with 2 Chronicles 12:13.

[6] Exodus 33:11:  “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.  And he turned again into the camp:  but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man (נַעַר), departed not out of the tabernacle.”

[7] See Genesis 11:24-32.

Chapter 6:3: The Captain’s Battle Plan, Part 2

Verse 3:[1] And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

[Compass the city] At such a distance from it that ye might be beyond the casting of a dart (Lapide). These actions, if they be considered of themselves, ought to be reckoned as the performances of Actors rather than the stratagems of warriors: Nevertheless, these things are executed by Joshua, etc., without hesitation; in which their obedience is to be commended (Masius).

[Once (thus Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius), פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת] Aquila translates it in one path; Symmachus, with one circuit; because פַּעַם signifies a step, or procession. The Hebrews, instead of once, say in one advance (Masius). Once on each day (Vatablus).

Go round about the city once, at convenient distance, out of the reach of their arrows; thus shalt thou do six days, every day once. This and the following course might seem ridiculous and absurd, and is therefore prescribed and used by God, that they might learn to take new measures of things, and to expect success not from their own valour or skill, or probable means, but merely from God’s appointment and blessing; and in general, not to judge of any of God’s institutions by mere carnal reason, to which divers of their ceremonies would seem no less foolish than this action; and that they might have a full demonstration of the all-sufficiency of that God who can do what he pleaseth, even by the most contemptible means.

[1] Hebrew: וְסַבֹּתֶ֣ם אֶת־הָעִ֗יר כֹּ֚ל אַנְשֵׁ֣י הַמִּלְחָמָ֔ה הַקֵּ֥יף אֶת־הָעִ֖יר פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת כֹּ֥ה תַעֲשֶׂ֖ה שֵׁ֥שֶׁת יָמִֽים׃

Joshua 2:12, 13: Rahab’s Covenant, Part 1

Republishing Matthew Henry’s Matthew Henry!

 

Verse 12:[1]  Now therefore, I pray you, (see 1 Sam. 20:14, 15, 17) swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto (see 1 Tim. 5:8) my father’s house, and (Josh. 2:18) give me a true token…

[By the Lord]  By whom alone swearing is to be done.[2]  Hence her faith shines forth, who comes to terms with them not otherwise than if they were possessing the town; she regarded, not the present condition of her guests with the eyes of the body, but the counsel of God from the viewpoint of faith; since she was acquiescing in this with her whole heart, she was asking that this be sworn (Masius).

By the Lord; by your God, who is the only true God:  so she shows her conversion to God, and owns his worship, one eminent act whereof is swearing by his name.

[I have done mercy]  Relate this, not so much to the evaded inquisitors of the King, as to the reason of evasion now declared (Masius).

[With my father’s house]  Of herself she says nothing, because duty was requiring this of obligation, that they preserve their preserver (Kimchi in Masius).  Of a husband and offspring she says nothing, because she had none, as previously mentioned.  Concerning her relatives she was especially solicitous, because she knew that they were not yet having their hope place in God, who alone could save (Masius).

My father’s house; my near kindred, which she particularly names, verse 13.  Husband and children it seems she had none.  And for herself, it was needless to speak, it being a plain and undeniable duty to save their preserver.

[And give a true sign, א֥וֹת אֱמֶֽת׃]  A sign of truth (Montanus, Jonathan); or, a true sign (Syriac), a symbol of promise not at all deceitful (Munster); a certain sign (Arabic), by which she could truly and certainly secure herself and her own from destruction, and which she might show the Israelites laying all waste (Bonfrerius).

A true token; either an assurance that you will preserve me and mine from the common ruin; or a token which I may produce as a witness of this agreement, and a mean of my security.

 

Verse 13:[3]  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

[All that they have]  The children of her brothers and sisters, as it is evident from Joshua 6:23 (Masius).  In such matters that do not harm the public state, those sent by the people place the people under obligation.  For which reason also this faith is kept, Joshua 6:25 and Matthew 1:5.  There is a similar history in Judges 1:25 (Grotius).

All that they have, that is, their children, as appears from Joshua 6:23.

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֗ה הִשָּֽׁבְעוּ־נָ֥א לִי֙ בַּֽיהוָ֔ה כִּי־עָשִׂ֥יתִי עִמָּכֶ֖ם חָ֑סֶד וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֙ם גַּם־אַתֶּ֜ם עִם־בֵּ֤ית אָבִי֙ חֶ֔סֶד וּנְתַתֶּ֥ם לִ֖י א֥וֹת אֱמֶֽת׃

[2] See Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20; Matthew 4:10.

[3] Hebrew: וְהַחֲיִתֶ֞ם אֶת־אָבִ֣י וְאֶת־אִמִּ֗י וְאֶת־אַחַי֙ וְאֶת־אַחוֹתַ֔י וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר לָהֶ֑ם וְהִצַּלְתֶּ֥ם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵ֖ינוּ מִמָּֽוֶת׃

Joshua 2:10, 11: Rahab’s Faith, Part 3

Verse 10:[1]  For we have heard how the LORD (Ex. 14:21; Josh. 4:23) dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and (Num. 21:24, 34, 35) what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

[For we have heard, etc.]  Then why did they not put an obstacle in the way of those passing over Jordan?  They certainly appear to have despised them as wretched renaways, not suited for war.  At the same time, their minds were agitated by some heavenly impulse, etc. (Masius).

[That He dried up[2] (similarly Montanus)]  That God dried, or, how He dried (Junius and Tremellius).

[Ye destroyed, הֶחֱרַמְתֶּם]  Concerning which word see Leviticus 27:28[3] (Lapide).

 

Verse 11:[4]  And as soon as we had (Ex. 15:14, 15) heard these things, (Josh. 5:1; 7:5; Is. 13:7) our hearts did melt, neither did there remain (Heb. rose up[5]) any more courage in any man, because of you:  for (Deut. 4:39) the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

[And out heart drooped, וַיִּמַּס]  And it melted (Montanus, Jonathan, Masius, Junius and Tremellius, Drusius, similarly the Arabic), was troubled (Syriac).  A Hebraism, in the place of, we were exceedingly frightened (Vatablus).  We are shaken in our mind (the Septuagint in Masius).  It is a Metaphor derived from wax (Masius, Menochius), or from melting snow (Menochius).

Did melt, that is, were dissolved, lost all consistency and courage.  This phrase is oft used, as Deuteronomy 1:28;[6] 20:8;[7] Joshua 5:1; 7:5.

[Neither remained a spirit (thus the Chaldean in Vatablus, Syriac, similarly Jonathan, Arabic), וְלֹא־קָמָה]  It did not rise (Montanus, Malvenda).  But this is incorrect:  קוּם here signifies to stand, not to rise (Drusius).  It did not stand fast (Vatablus, Drusius); the spirit no longer stands firm (Junius); no man stands firm in soul (Junius and Tremellius); it did not persist (Drusius).  קוּם sometimes signifies to remain, or, to live on (Glassius’ “Grammar” 225).  To stand sometimes signifies to remain.  The heart or spirit is said to depart in consummate fear, 1 Samuel 17:32 (Drusius).  In a man follows; emphatically:  that is to say, Those that were previously men, in them courage/spirit completely fails (Drusius).

[At your invasion, מִפְּנֵיכֶם]  From your sight (Targum in Drusius); because of your presence, or, for your sake (Masius), because of you (Vatablus), in fear of you (Junius and Tremellius).  Thus elsewhere, he fled from the face (that is, in fear) of Absalom[8] (Drusius).

[In heaven, etc.]  As One that governs the heavenly souls of men according to His will, by confounding some with fear, and strengthening others with courage.  But in the earth, as One that dispenses all earthly things according to His will, He takes from some, and assigns to others (Masius).  Your God works wherever He pleases whatever He wills; therefore, the Canaanites are not able to resist (Lapide).  He alone is immense and omnipotent (Bonfrerius).  She sets Jehovah as one over against all feigned gods.  This is the faith and profession of Rahab, so celebrated, by which (say the Hebrews) she merited this, that eight Prophets and Priests were born of her line, Jeremiah, Baruch, Hanameel, etc.  And they say that she gave her name to Judaism in the fiftieth year of her life, and that she entreated pardon from God, etc. (Masius).

He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath; he can do whatsoever he pleaseth in heaven and earth; whereas our gods are enclosed in heaven, and can do nothing to us upon earth.

[1] Hebrew: כִּ֣י שָׁמַ֗עְנוּ אֵ֠ת אֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִ֙ישׁ יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־מֵ֤י יַם־סוּף֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם בְּצֵאתְכֶ֖ם מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֡ם לִשְׁנֵי֩ מַלְכֵ֙י הָאֱמֹרִ֜י אֲשֶׁ֙ר בְּעֵ֤בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן֙ לְסִיחֹ֣ן וּלְע֔וֹג אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶחֱרַמְתֶּ֖ם אוֹתָֽם׃

[2] Hebrew:  אֵ֠ת אֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִ֙ישׁ יְהוָ֜ה.

[3] Leviticus 27:28:  “Notwithstanding no devoted thing (חֵרֶם), that a man shall devote (יַחֲרִם) unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing (חֵרֶם) is most holy unto the Lord.”

[4] Hebrew: וַנִּשְׁמַע֙ וַיִּמַּ֣ס לְבָבֵ֔נוּ וְלֹא־קָ֙מָה ע֥וֹד ר֛וּחַ בְּאִ֖ישׁ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֑ם כִּ֚י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם ה֤וּא אֱלֹהִים֙ בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם מִמַּ֔עַל וְעַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ מִתָּֽחַת׃

[5] Hebrew:  קָמָה.

[6] Deuteronomy 1:28a:  “Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart (הֵמַ֙סּוּ אֶת־לְבָבֵ֜נוּ, have melted our heart)…”

[7] Deuteronomy 20:8b:  “What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint (יִמַּס/melt) as well as his heart.”

[8] Psalm 3 (title):  “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom (מִפְּנֵ֤י׀ אַבְשָׁל֬וֹם) his son.”  2 Samuel 15:14:  “And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalomמִפְּנֵ֣י) אַבְשָׁל֑וֹם):  make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.”